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FAO Report Acknowledges New Zealand's Sustainable Fisheries Management

NEW ZEALAND - The FAO report on the State of the World's Fisheries released this week acknowledges New Zealand's sustainable approach to fisheries management.

The report stated that good progress had been made in reducing exploitation rates and restoring overexploited fish stocks through effective management actions in some areas. The FAO points to New Zealand, where the majority of our stocks (69 per cent) are above targeted sustainable yields. The remaining 31 per cent are under management plans and heading in the right direction.

"The FAO report is a flagship report on global fisheries and so it is great to get international recognition that we are managing our fisheries sustainably," says Peter Bodeker, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council.

Globally, the report showed that capture fisheries and aquaculture supplied the world with about 148 million tonnes of fish in 2010, of which about 128 million tonnes of fish was utilised as food for humans.

Preliminary data for 2011 indicate increased production of 154 million tonnes, of which 131 million was destined for food.

Today fish provides more than 4.3 billion people with about 15 per cent of their intake of animal protein.

Estimates for 2011 point to fish consumption reaching a record new high of 18.8kg per person.

In 2010 wild fisheries capture fell to 88.6 million tonnes. However, in 2011 wild capture is forecast to increase to its highest level in six years, around 90.4 million tonnes.

Aquaculture production reached grew 7.5 per cent in 2010, reaching 59.9 million tonnes, and is expected to grow to 63.6 million tonnes in 2011.

Stimulated by higher demand for fish, world fisheries and aquaculture production is projected to reach about 172 million tonnes in 2021.

Overall, the sector supports the livelihoods of 10-12 per cent of the world's population.

Lucy Towers

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